Truly Dead by Anne Fraiser

Evocative, dark, and searing, this latest book in the Elise Sandburg series by Anne Fraiser may the best yet. Fraiser creates and brings to life powerful, memorable characters. Even her secondary characters are complex and multifaceted.

In Elise Sandburg, Fraiser has created one of her most amazing characters. If Fraiser has a niche, it is her ability to explore the psyche of a strong woman dealing with catastrophic trauma in her past.

In this novel, , Elise returns to Savannah with her partner, David Gould, in triumph. They had successfully solved a murder in Chicago. There is a demand for the services of their new company. But a friend on the police force contacts them for assistance when a boy’s body is found during the demolition of a building.

As they attempt to find the killer before any one else is harmed, both Elise and David must face their innermost demons as well as the monster killing children. The emotional journeys in this novel are just as engrossing as the murder mystery. When Elise finally reveals her grotesque and disfiguring scars to another person, there is a gut wrenching honesty to the scene. In the meanwhile, her partner, David must decide whether he should move on with his life rather than waiting for Elise to return his feelings.

This is a murder mystery. The mystery is engrossing, frightening, and well plotted. There are red herrings and distractions. Fraiser creates strong visual, action scenes. In fact, it is very easy to see this novel translate into a movie or television show.

This book can be read as a standalone. It isn’t necessary to have read the first three books in the series.   I highly recommend it.


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